Cookie Exchange Success!

I know you’ve been curious which cookie I made for the exchange?

Christmas Swirl Sugar Cookies! They didn’t quite turn out as ‘pretty’ as the Pinterest picture, but they were delicious and relatively easy to make!

Who knew your nesting boxes could be used for cookie tray display too! 
I mean whose Pinterest attempts ever turn out as perfect as the original anyway?!
13 people brought 4 dozen cookies each!

Chocolate Raspberry Bars


Frosted Sugar Cookies


White Chocolate Peppermint Oreos


Whipped Cherry Shortbread

7-layer Bars


No bake Cookies

Cathedral Cookies
We sampled each cookie while we drank coffee and visited!
We shared our recipes and went home with 3-4 of every kind!


Going home with 3.5 dozen cookie varieties made making cookie tins for the neighbors easy this year! A great time was had by all! Cookies, coffee, friends and family, how could you not have fun?!

I think you should host a cookie exchange as soon as possible! You won’t regret it!

– Jaclyn

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Cookie Exchange

Do you have a cookie exchange to attend this Holiday season? Or maybe you’re hosting the exchange for you and your friends?! 

Mom is hosting one in a few weeks, so I’ve been on the hunt for all my favorite Holiday cookies! 

Bring 4 dozen, taste and sample each cookie, and take home 3.5 dozen! Sounds like my kind of party! Those of you who know me, know I love dessert! My in-laws give me a hard time because they never had to plan dessert until I joined the family…I think I did them all a favor 😜

Hmmm…now the question is which family favorite cookie should I make?





Chocolate chip cookies

Spritz cookies

Sugar cookies

 Waffle cookies

No bake cookies

Peanut butter cookies

I found this sugar cookie mix at Costco, makes 21 dozen cookies! Convenient for any and all Holiday cookie needs!



What kind would you make?


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The Big 3-0!!

I had a major milestone Birthday last week! I have made it into my 30’s!! A little scary, but mainly exciting. I am feeling pretty good about leaving my twenties behind and moving on into the next decade of my life. So far, 30 has been wonderful! I was completely spoiled by my family and my husband! They know how to make a girl feel special.

But really, I’ve been celebrating for the last two months. I started planning a 30th Birthday trip earlier this year and then as we were picking the dates, I found out two of the three girls going with me were pregnant and due the week and the week after my birthday! Haha. So…we bumped the trip up to September! 

Seattle Trip |

I invited three of my best friends to spend a girls weekend in Seattle to celebrate! I am so thankful they were all up for it! We had such a great time! Unfortunately, one of them ended up sick the day we were leaving, so only three of us made it. We flew out Friday afternoon and landed in Seattle just in time for dinner 🙂 One of the girls lives in the Portland area, so she drove up to meet us at the airport and drive us around all weekend 😉

Seattle Trip |

We stayed at Hotel 1000, right downtown. If you’re ever in Seattle and need somewhere to stay, I cannot recommend it enough. It was beautiful and the perfect location. About two blocks from Pike Place Market & the Pier.

Seattle Trip |

We walked to dinner Friday night and familiarized ourselves with our surroundings. I don’t know about you, but I’m a planner. Even on vacation, I usually have every minute planned out. You know, so I can maximize my trip and see as much as possible. But for this trip, we truly just figured it out as we went. It was marvelous. We shopped, ate good food, drank lots of coffee, slept in and just enjoyed a relaxing weekend away.

Seattle Trip |

We saw this on our walk to breakfast Saturday morning. I thought it was fun.

Seattle Trip |

We walked to Macrina Bakery and were not disappointed. Can you read the description of that quiche? O.M.G. The BEST quiche I’ve ever had. It was to die for. I need to start cooking with fontina. Fontina in everything!

Seattle Trip |

Of course we took some time to walk through the market. I wish we could’ve taken flowers home with us. They are truly so beautiful. And do you see these pictures? Yeah, it was 70’s and sunny the WHOLE weekend! Why do Seattle-ites always complain about all the rain?? 😉 

Seattle Trip |

We also waited in line (about 30 minutes) to get coffee at the First Starbucks Store. Ah, the people watching. Waiting in line in big cities can be truly entertaining.

Seattle Trip |

Seattle Trip |

Seattle Trip |

I love these girls! We had so much fun together! From the Market we decided to head to the Fremont neighborhood and check out the Theo Chocolate Factory! We took the tour and consumed way too many samples! It was fun and very informative. And we found this beautiful view right outside.

Seattle Trip |

We spent the rest of our Saturday doing some retail therapy. I am an avid online shopper and rarely, I mean, hardly ever, actually shop in stores. But this trip reminded me how much fun it can be. Especially when you have two friends helping you out. It was a blast! And I spent all my birthday loot – you know, that I hadn’t received yet… 😉 We had dinner that night at Il Fornaio. Another place I’d recommend if you’re looking for Italian food in Seattle. 

Seattle Trip |

Sunday morning we walked across the street from our hotel, grabbed some breakfast & coffee and took it down to Pier 56. Not a bad view for breakfast!

Seattle Trip |

If you’re interested, this is Storyville coffee, may have been my favorite coffee of the weekend. And that breakfast sandwich was delicious!! 

Seattle Trip |

There’s just something peaceful about the Ocean, isn’t there?

Seattle Trip |

Seattle Trip |

This Sunday was opening week in the NFL and the Seahawks had a home game. It’s so fun to be walking around and see everyone in their jerseys. I need to live in an NFL team hometown. Haha. I think Ember would enjoy it too – she was fitting in just fine watching football with the boys while I was gone 😉 

Ember girl |

We finished off the weekend with a quick trip to Kirkland for lunch & a stop in at Sweet Cakes Bakery. Oh, man. There are no words. Just go. You will thank me.

Seattle Trip |

Oh, and that baby due the week of my Birthday? Yup, she was actually born on my Birthday! Pretty nice of my friend to give me such a special birthday gift!! 😉

Have you guys taken any Birthday trips? I’d love to hear about them!

<3 Michelle

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Fall is in the air…

I’m not as obsessed with fall as a lot of people, however, I do enjoy pumpkin everything, the beautiful colored leaves, and the cooler temperatures with the sun still shining!

What do you love about fall? Do you have favorite fall recipes? We’d love you to share them with us! 

Today, I’m going to share some of our family favorites. I hope you enjoy them! 

What’s a fall gathering without Apple Cider?!

Apple Cider Pot |

My brother-in-law, Josh, ensures we have this classic at our gatherings! And why not? It’s so easy. Just add some cloves and cinnamon sticks to bottled apple cider. Heat on the range and wa-lah! Warm and delicious! If you’re feeling extra fancy add in some orange slices or cranberries.

Apple Cider |

And then there’s pumpkin bread. This is my favorite pumpkin bread recipe!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe |

Pumpkin Bread Ingredients |

Bread Loaves |

I add chocolate chips, but you may choose raisins or your favorite nut. Pair with a cold glass of milk or PSL and you may have entered fall heaven!

Bread and Milk |

Our Mom has gathered many of our favorite family recipes throughout the years and designed recipe cards for us to have in a book! I love it! One place for all our cherished family favorites!

Looking for another delicious recipe to include at your next family gathering? Look no further! White Chicken Chili is another favorite! You won’t be disappointed!

White Chicken Chili |

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Girls Night Out!

All 3 Sisters went out on the town last night!! 🙂 The three of us and a few friends went to the Carrie Underwood concert in Boise! The Storyteller Tour: Stories in the Round. It was AMAZING! Seriously, if you have any interest in seeing Carrie live…do it. You won’t be disappointed!

Carrie Underwood |

We had to take full advantage of our night out so of course we started with dinner. No one appreciates dinner out more than moms of babies and toddlers! Dinner with girlfriends is like a mini-vacation 🙂 

Carrie Underwood |

Easton Corbin opened the night and was quite entertaining. Even serenaded us with some Justin Bieber…yeah, we’re not sure what that was about either!

Carrie Underwood |

Check out this stage! Stories in the Round…so cool! There really isn’t a bad seat in the place – everyone has a front row view throughout the concert. The things they do with stages these days, it is quite the production!

Carrie Underwood |

Here she is, coming right up out of the center round to start the night with Renegade Runaway.

Carrie Underwood |

Only a few minutes in and you realize exactly why she’s been nominated Entertainer of the Year! Hope she wins!!  

Carrie Underwood |

On top of the Jukebox for Cowboy Casanova!! 🙂 

Carrie Underwood |

Carrie Underwood |

Easton Corbin came back out to sing a song with her, and of course he was wearing a BSU jersey 😉 

Carrie Underwood |


Carrie Underwood |

One of my favorite stage effects was this one for Blown Away.

Carrie Underwood |

And here she is singing Smoke Break.

Carrie Underwood |

We all loved how many outfit changes she had! 🙂 

Carrie Underwood |

She finished off the show with Something in the Water. 

Carrie Underwood |

We had such a great time! Let’s plan more girls nights, okay guys? Anyone have any great traditions you do with your girl friends?

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Grandma Sue’s Apple Butter

It’s that time of year again. The air is crisp, the leaves start changing, and people turn into fall obsessed, pumpkin spice loving, boot wearing crazies! Don’t get me wrong, I love fall and everything about it. I just think its hilarious how much attention fall gets! You would get a weird look if you said something like, “I can’t wait to wear sunscreen and hide from the blistering sun this summer!”

I especially have a soft spot for fall this year because we are expecting our second son in October. I am 34 weeks along and I am so ready for summer to be over! I know there are tons of moms out there that can sympathize with me, so I am not going to go into details. All I want to say is it has been a HOT summer! So bring on fall and all the crazies!

Okay my rant about fall is over. What I’d like to share with you today is Grandma Sue’s Apple Butter recipe! Grandma gave me tons of apples, so what better thing to do then make her apple butter. The aroma of allspice and cloves turns me into one of those crazy fall people! And it will you, too! If you are looking for a sugar free recipe….I am sorry, this is not for you. But when you spread this spiced jam on a fresh baked biscuit, you will be thanking me for every calorie!

Apple Butter

10 C. Apples (peeled and cubed) 

8 C. Sugar 

1/2 C. Vinegar 

2 tsp. Cinnamon 

1 tsp. Allspice (ground) 

1 tsp. Cloves (ground)

Peel and cut apples, put them into a crock pot with all other ingredients and cook  on low for 10 to 12 hours. Apples will cook down. Apple butter makes a great gift! 

<3 Justina 



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Chloe Sue’s Baby Shower

Michelle and Justina only let me know the date and time. If you’re a control freak like me, you know the suspense of not knowing, just about kills you! Yet I was so excited and knew they’d come up with something way cuter than I would have ever thought of. That they did!

ABCs |

shower decorations |

Is this not the cutest baby shower theme you’ve ever seen?

TD |

VU |

Aunties made all letters A-Z, each with their own design and pre-measured to be hung in Chloe’s playroom!

letters in cutout |

Decor |

Table Centerpiece |

table decor |

Along with their adorable alphabet theme, they created Chloe’s first alphabet book, asking each guest to fill in a letter page.

Alphabet Book |

“Chloe’s First Alphabet Book…By all the ladies who love her most”

Alphabet Book Table |

The letters were perfect decor arranged throughout the room.

Centerpiece |

S |

Chicken Salad |

Shower Food |

Fruit kabobs |

Karla, our Mom, came through once again and provided the delicious brunch items! Mini quiches, mini scones, chicken salad lettuce wraps, fruit kabobs, and of course coffee! She even had decaf for me! No one else is crazy enough to drink decaf at 10:30 am 😉

Quiches |

Q Food Display |

Y |

Z |

Thank you sisters for the most beautiful shower I ever could have imagined! Chloe is so loved and spoiled already! 

Chloe Sue |

Jacs Shower |



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Happy New Year 2016!

Happy New Year!!! Wow! How is it already 2016? That just doesn’t seem possible!

We hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend, doing whatever makes you happy — and of course recovering from the food coma that is the last couple weeks of December!

We sisters actually threw a New Years Eve party this year! We had so much fun putting it together and thought we’d share some pics with you guys.

Photo Booth |

We have to start with the photo props…because that’s what all parties must have these days 😉 I mean, why not, when they’re so much fun?! We actually took the lazy route this time and ordered these props and background. Find online, click order, open box 2 days later and wa-la. Instant party fun. Now that’s my kind of party prep!! Who’s with me??

Photo Booth Props |

We decided on a theme of black, white & gold…because what’s New Years Eve without a little sparkle?! Luckily for us Jac’s house has LOTS of those colors already…so we really didn’t do much decorating.

NYE Welcome |

We had lots of fun coming up with black, white & gold food…and of course a few extras thrown in for good measure 😉

NYE Food |

What’s more gold than goldfish?!

Chips |

The best way to add gold to your food? Gold glitter sprinkles!!

Chocolate Mousse|

I have a cookie set from Williams Sonoma that lets you create messages in your sugar cookies. Admittedly I don’t use it very often, but this seemed like the perfect occasion! Who doesn’t love a cookie that’s also spreading good cheer?

NYE Cookies |

These might be my favorite ingenious pinterest find of the night. Mini tuxedos!! Seriously, how cute are these? Just a Ritz cracker, a triangle of our favorite white cheese and a little olive bow tie. Adorable! And so so simple!

Tuxedos |

While the tuxedos were my favorite “look” on the table…these pretzels…oh man, these pretzels…why is chocolate and pretzels such a delicious combo? Seriously, I don’t even like pretzels…but throw some chocolate on them and they are divine!! I could’ve eaten the whole platter myself! And probably did eat about half! Eek! :/

Dipped Pretzels |

We had some golden pineapple to help cleanse everyone’s palate 😉

NYE treats |

How do you make 7 layer dip fit your theme? Just keep whatever color you’re looking for on top! Olives it is! Resting on a bed of white cheese, of course.

Taco Dip |

Cute food |

White chocolate dipped Oreos, covered in gold glitter. It doesn’t get more festive than that!!

Oreos |

And then of course there’s the bubbly for that midnight toast! We just added blackberries to the champagne or sparkling cider to give it that little extra glam 😉

Champagne |

Jac’s Christmas tree even fit our theme?! Apparently this girl was made to host New Years Eve parties!! It’s official: same theme, same place, next year!

NYE tree |

We had a few fun games planned for the evening and had them in separate boxes so every hour (9, 10, 11) we opened a new one and had a completely new activity to enjoy!

NYE games |

At 9pm we started with a 2015 pop-culture trivia game. Our winner got 30/40 right! Not too shabby!! 

At 10pm we had a “never-ending” saran wrap gift. There was a scarf, hat & gloves in the box that had to be worn by the unwrapper. Everyone passed a die, trying to roll a 5 to get the chance to start unwrapping! If you’ve never played a game like this before you should try it. It’s hilarious just to watch, let alone participate! The saran wrap addition was a first for us, but we’ve done it many times with actual wrapped presents. The key is to get big obnoxious gloves so it’s extremely difficult to unwrap. Especially when you know someone else could roll a 5 at any time and take it away!! (You can also try to roll doubles…you know, if you can find 2 dice ;))

At 11pm the box included noisemakers and Happy New Year tiaras. Because that’s what ringing in the new year is all about!!  

PhotoBoothFun |


Of course we topped it all off by watching the ball drop!!

Welcome 2016. Here’s to new beginnings, new adventures and a new baby!!

<3 Michelle

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Christmas Gift Tags

Christmas is almost here! Do you have all of your Christmas shopping done? Are you running out of gift tags for all your gifts under the tree? Well I’ve got you covered! Christmas is my favorite time of year. The Christmas lights, the snow, the beautiful Christmas trees and all of the perfectly wrapped packages under the tree. I love to wrap presents! My family always jokes when they get a gift from me because I use so much tape that they can hardly get it open! I counted this year and used an average of 10 pieces of tape per box. Too much tape you say? Not at all when the end result looks like this! 

Wrapped Presents

Alright, enough about my obsession with wrapping presents and tape! What I really wanted to share with you, is how to make these adorable gift tags. All you need is scissors, stamps, ink, twine, card stock, and a hole punch. You can find all of these supplies at your local craft store or use these cute stamps!

Stamps and paper size

First you are going to cut the card stock to match the shape and size of your stamp. Make sure to leave room for a tail at the end and a hole at the top. 

Cut from corners to middle

You can use a ruler and find the middle of the tag to create the tail, but I just eyeball it and it normally comes out just fine. These are only gift tags people! Just start at the bottom corner and cut at an angle to the center. 

Punch holes

Punch holes at the top, add your twine, and put on the stamps. Done! They are so cute, right? You can use whatever stamps, card stock and twine or ribbon you want. So you can see how you can easily customize these tags to your personal taste…and for any occasion! 

Finished gift tags

And just because I like to take every opportunity to show off this cute face. Here is a picture of my little Bradley! This post wouldn’t have taken me 3 hours to finish today, if I wasn’t pulling him out from underneath the Christmas tree every 15 seconds! See, even he loves my wrapping 😉 


Merry Christmas everybody! Stay warm and safe and enjoy your time with family. Have the best Christmas ever! 

~ Justina 

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12 days til Christmas

We love Christmas! Honestly, who doesnt?! Decorating the Christmas tree, driving around town to look at Christmas lights, family movie on Christmas Eve, reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning, oranges in the bottom of our stockings, these are just a few of my favorite childhood traditions. 

We have developed many family traditions throughout the years, however, the years for new family traditions are upon us!

With all3sisters married- Ember 18 months, Bradley 8 months, and Baby St. John on the way, the traditions will start to look a little different then when we were kids. We’ve already started a few! Fresh cut Christmas tree in the woods for the cabin, Happy Birthday Jesus party, new Christmas book, and new pajamas each year!

What are your favorite traditions? As we approach #themostwonderfultimeoftheyear don’t forget the true reason for the season!

<3 Jaclyn

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