Let all your hearts...

... prepare for Him. We've been humming merry tunes over here and I'm also taking some much needed time to focus on family these days. Follow along on Insta to check in with us. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Simple Food: Holiday Butter Cookies

If you've seen my Instagram lately, you know we've been baking up a storm in this house. Whisks are whirling, spoons are spinning, peppermint is filling the air, and honey has been melting on our tongues. Mouthwatering scents of fresh out of the oven cookies suffuse our home as of late. Baking has been such a joy, especially now that e is getting older and can join in on the fun.

I've had a few requests for recipes that we've been baking and here is one of them. This one is done pretty fast and easy for kids to help with. e loved using the cookie cutters {which kid doesn't ha!}. And parents - these beauties are great coffee dunkers. Just sayin'. 

Butter Cookies


500g all-purpose {unbleached} flour
2 sticks unsalted butter - in pieces
200g sugar {I prefer pure cane sugar}
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 lemon - zested and juiced
1 tip of a knife ground cinnamon

1 egg yolk
sprinkles of your choice, coarse salt, or chopped almonds


1. Combine Flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl
2. Make a groove in the center and add eggs, vanilla flavoring, cinnamon, as well as lemon juice and zest. 
3. Start kneading. I encourage doing this by hand, not with a machine. 
When done, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 Minutes. 
4. Pre-heat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
And now the fun part - begin cookie cutting.
6. Bake about 10 Minutes, let cool 2 Minutes on the baking sheet, then cool completely on a wire rack. 

7. When completely cool, brush egg yolk on the tops of the cookies and cover with desired sprinkles.


Simple Moments

Moments that made our week - 

Though not done yet, a migraine knocked me off my feet this weekend and we'll be resuming our Christmas cookie baking this week. It must have scared my husband pretty bad because at one point he was thinking about taking me to the ER - probably when I was hugging the toilet crying, ha! In all honesty, though, this one was scary. But anyhow, these moments are from early last week. 

Also, someone had a birthday this month! For her special day, we went to a huge indoor playground - it was as much fun to watch the kids play as it probably was for them playing. 

also sharing here


Simple Life: Handmade Christmas Decorations

Natural holiday cheer. Decorate the house a bit, invite family and friends over for mulled wine or cider and set an evening of Holiday spirit merriment. Simply done. Instructions below. Enjoy.

Popcorn Cranberry Garland

You need:

Popcorn - preferably a day old and stale {trust me}
Cranberries - only the still hard ones {trust me}
Dental Floss
a needle

Happy stringing.

Dried Oranges 

You need:

Oranges {by the bag full}
Dehydrator or oven

Slice the oranges and place in dehydrator for 24 hrs or on a baking sheet {single layer} in the oven for 2-4 hrs at 200 F

Dried Oranges and Cinnamon Ornaments


You need:

dried orange slices {see above}
cinnamon sticks
twine {of your choice}

My house smells delicious!

sharing with some of these wonderful blogs.


Simple Moments

A moment that shaped last week.

We didn't have a tree {yet} so we decorated one in the backyard with our {slightly} burnt orange slices and {too soft} cranberries.

Sharing here


Simple Life: St. Nicholas Day

Since I find myself in the season with young children, I thought it might be nice this year to start on a simplified version of some of the traditions from my childhood. Growing up, I have always cherished the time before Christmas (eve) with a warm heart. And now, well into my adulthood, this time from the beginning of the first of Advent until New Years', has me think of those bygone years with fond memories, as well as a hint of nostalgia. 

I'm not quite sure whether or not beginning our own traditions really will mend my always recurring wistful reflections of younger years, but never the less I'm thinking of these special rituals as a tribute to my childhood. St. Nicholas being one of many for this last month of the year. 

Nicholas was born in the 3rd century to wealthy parents in the Greek area of Patara, now southern coast of Turkey. His parents passed when he was still young. As a devout Christian, he used his inheritance to give to the poor, needy and sick. Dedicating his life to God, he was made Bishop of Myra when he was still a young man, but later also suffered for his faith even being imprisoned under a Roman Emperor. He died on December 6th, AD 343. 

One of the stories we hear of the good deeds St. Nicholas has done, is about a father of three daughters. Having no dowry to be able to marry, the daughters were destined to be sold into slavery. On three different occasions, a bag of gold mysteriously made it into their home, thrown in through a window and landing on socks that were hanging beside the fire to dry. The gold was enough to provide for a dowry, saving the three daughters from a life of slavery. 

This year, while retelling the story of St. Nicholas and the three young women, e and I washed our boots on the back steps. We placed them at the door in the evening and when she woke up this morning, she had a chocolate Santa and some chocolate coins in hers, as well as a small gift {a puzzle} beside it. {And for the curious among you, j's gift is are homemade stacking blocks from a tree in our back yard| This was a simple beginning to this tradition and as she gets older we will add more and more details to this tradition with a special meal, cleaning the whole house and the like. I don't know how close or how far apart we will be living as a family when everyone has grown up, but I hope my children will always be able to remember their favorite Christmas traditions with fond memories and maybe even build upon them with their own families in the future. 

Also sharing here


Simple Moments

Moments that shaped our week

 He's all about jars and lids these days.

 Climbing into her brother's bed.

 Baked the last pumpkin for this fall.

Dried our first oranges for decorating.


Simple Food: Arugula Pear Pizza

Fall means change. And fall also means colder temperatures and shorter days. And with anything in dwindling supply, the number of hours we spent outdoors have gone down, in equal relation to the number of hours that nighttime falls upon us earlier.

Similarly, fall also means stuffy noses, chunky sweaters, and boots running through a sea of brown dried leaves in the backyard. The harsh crunching as they break under even the lightest Toddler weight. But my favorite part of fall so far has been the pumpkin, and butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. Here lately my farmer's market visits have me almost always leave with either one of them and I come home baking rich fall dishes.

As a sweeter side of fall is approaching - and we all know it will, as Thanksgiving came and went already - we can embrace the Holidays with its delicious roasted turkey, pumpkin pies, and hot chocolate and save this recipe for a lighter pick-me-up meal in between all the festivities.

Arugula Pear Pizza


1 recipe pizza crust {or store bought if you prefer}
half of a 3 lb pie pumpkin seeded, peeled, and cut into desired pieces 
1 pear, peeled and cut into slices
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

2 c Arugula leaves, loosely packed
1/2 c of crumbled bleu cheese
seeds of half of a fresh pomegranate
1 tsp red wine vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
 Roll out the pizza dough on a baking sheet {or Pizza Stone}

2. In a large bowl, toss together the pumpkin pieces, pear pieces, Salt and Pepper with 1 Tbsp olive oil
3. Arrange the mixture on the prepared pizza dough and bake 20 minutes
4. Meanwhile, combine Arugula, bleu cheese and pomegranate seeds with 1 TBSP olive oil and spread over the pizza once it comes out the oven.


 Also shared here